Carbon markets

Carbon markets enable trading of domestic and international carbon credits and renewable energy certificates.

Our scheme participants can use the carbon market to trade with:

  • other participants to meet scheme obligations
  • private buyers wanting to voluntarily reduce emissions and energy
  • governments bodies with emissions and energy targets.

Carbon credits

Learn about our national markets, carbon credit units and ACCU supply and demand.

Renewable energy certificates

Learn about the STC open market, STC clearing house and secondary market where you can sell and trade renewable energy certificates.

Quarterly Carbon Market Reports

Our Quarterly Carbon Market Reports provide a view of:

  • supply and demand across carbon market schemes we administer
  • key factors influencing market performance
  • trends and insights that may inform market decision.
View our Quarterly Carbon Market Reports
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Popular topics


Market infrastructure

We support market integrity and infrastructure to provide participants with resources to understand the Australian financial markets.

Voluntary offsetting and surrender

Find out more about the voluntary cancellation of Australian carbon credit units (ACCUs) and surrender of large-scale generation certificates (LGCs).

Reports and data

Learn about the different reports and data we publish for each of the schemes we administer.

International units

International emissions units are used to measure and trade reductions in greenhouse gas emissions on a global scale.

Australian Carbon Exchange

The Australian Carbon Exchange will make it easier to trade Australian carbon credit units (ACCUs).

Carbon markets and our schemes

Australian Carbon Credit Unit (ACCU) Scheme

  • Participants earn ACCUs for running ACCU Scheme projects
  • Participants can sell ACCUs to private buyers on the secondary market
  • Participants can also sell ACCUs to the Australian Government under carbon abatement contracts

Safeguard Mechanism

  • Participants can earn Safeguard Mechanism credit units (SMCs) by keeping their emissions below their set baselines
  • Participants can buy and surrender SMCs or ACCUs to lower their net emissions to meet their baselines

Renewable Energy Target

  • Consists of 2 schemes which incentivise participants to increase renewable energy generation
  • The Large-scale Renewable Energy Target generates large-scale generation certificates (LGCs) for every megawatt hour of renewable electricity generated by a power station
  • The Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme issues small-scale generation certificates (STCs) for the assumed generation of electricity of eligible small-scale systems
  • Liable entities must buy and surrender LGCs and STCs to meet their renewable energy obligations

State carbon markets

State schemes incentivise the installation of energy efficient equipment and appliances.

New South Wales Energy Saving Scheme (ESS)

  • Supplies Energy Saving Certificates (ESCs) and generates demand for ESCs through EES energy saving targets
  • Participants can trade ESCs through the online system TESSA (The Energy Security Safeguard Application)

Victorian Energy Upgrades (VEU) program

  • Supplies Victorian Energy Efficiency Certificates (VEECs) and generates demand for VEECs through the Victorian Energy Efficiency Target

Participants can trade VEECs through the VEU Registry

International carbon markets

Clean Development Mechanism (CDM)

  • Participants can earn certified emission reduction units (CERs) for running CDM emission-reduction projects
  • The demand for these units is driven by voluntary emissions reduction ambition
  • Industrialised countries could buy CERs to meet a part of their emission reduction targets under the Kyoto Protocol
  • Individuals, companies or organisations can buy CERs through:
    • Clean Development Mechanism Registry
    • Australian National Registry of Emissions Units

Verified Carbon Standard (VCS) Program

  • VCS projects can earn Verified Carbon Units (VCUs) for each metric tonne of carbon dioxide reduced or removed from the atmosphere
  • Individuals, companies or organisations can buy VCUs through the Verra Registry

Gold Standard

  • Sets the standard for climate and development interventions to quantify, certify and maximise their impact
  • Gold Standard Verified Emission Reductions (VERs) are purchased for voluntary climate action
  • Gold Standard labelled Certified Emission Reductions (CERs) are purchased for meeting compliance targets 
  • Purchasers can buy VERs through the Gold Standard Registry

Latest markets news

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Media release: Reformed Safeguard Mechanism drives ACCU demand

14 June 2024
The Australian carbon credit unit (ACCU) market is seeing a shift with regulatory compliance emerging as the primary source of unit cancellation, according to the Clean Energy Regulator’s latest Quarterly Carbon Market Report.
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April Large-scale Renewable Energy Target market data now available

28 May 2024
The Clean Energy Regulator has released the April 2024 Large-scale Renewable Energy Target market data.
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Emissions reduction

Compliance update – January to March 2024

01 May 2024
The Compliance update for January – March 2024 is now available. It provides information on activities related to our compliance and enforcement priorities.
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March Large-scale Renewable Energy Target market data now available

01 May 2024
The Clean Energy Regulator has released the March 2024 Large-scale Renewable Energy Target market data.
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